Q: What's it like at this time of year when players are in and out of the lineup with injury?**A: The consistency is always the issue. Most of the time, our guys are pretty good about trying to get on the field, but you do miss the consistency in trying to put together a plan that includes people that you hope will be there on game day vs. people that may be there on game day. That's always challenging.
Q: When do you find out on a given day who you'll have for practice?A: Normally in the mornings you'll know, however that can change based on the player's availability. That can change, normally in the mornings.
Q: With Roddy White being a game-time decision for the game Sunday, do you have to change your game plan?A: Well, I think that they have three good wide receivers on their football team. (Harry) Douglas is not a bad receiver and if White is a game-time decision, then they have capable receivers that can come in and do the job. It may change a little bit of our strategy, but not a whole lot.
Q: If Prince Amukamara can't play this week, what challenge does that present?A: It gives the next man up an opportunity to compete and play. The next man up would be Jayron Hosley. He's played in ball games so we feel confident with him that he can go in and get the job done. He's excited about stepping up to that challenge.
Q: Has it been a little up-and-down with Hosley this season?A: We played him at the nickel spot because what we were trying to do there was develop a second guy, or really a guy to be the nickel and let Antrel (Rolle) be more of a safety. We always had the flexibility of moving Antrel back to the nickel spot and we knew that if we moved Antrel back, that it would bring us more energy and more physicality and more experience at the nickel spot. We experimented early and we thought Jayron could do it, but it's crunch-time now and the last couple weeks Antrel has played the nickel, but he's (Jayron) lways been practicing at the corner and he's been practicing at two spots so sometimes when you let a guy concentrate on one spot, he's better at his craft.
Q: Does Will Hill become the next safety with injuries to Kenny Phillips and Tyler Sash?A: He'll play safety like he did last week. We won't change.
Q: What is it about Hosley that has caught your eye this season?A: He has great ball skills and he's one of those guys in practice, he seems to always be around the tipped ball, he can always tip the ball up and intercept it and catch it. You just kind of shake your head because he's always making plays. He made a play today in practice that was an outstanding football play. He's showed that ability to do that. Obviously we want him to do that more consistently and in ball games. I think he had a nice pick against Carolina when he was playing the nickel spot, a tipped ball. He does those things routinely in practice.
Q: What did he do today in practice?A: He was playing a coverage and the receiver ran an in-cut and he just saw it, broke on the ball, and I kind of joked with him, I said, "I didn't know you were that fast," because he broke on the ball and intercepted it and he was in the end zone before I could turn my head. He had a really good day today. He had good energy, he had good focus and his ability to break on the ball was really good.
Q: Eli that he intercepted?A: No, we were working the "look squad," so he intercepted David Carr.
Q: You're not expecting rookie jitters from Hosley right?A: I don't think so. I've said this before; he's a guy that I don't think it's too big for.
Q: Do you talk to the guys directly about their injuries or just rely on the medical staff?A: I always talk to the player directly and see how they feel and if they feel like they can contribute and excel. What you want to do is the right thing by the player. You don't want him to go out and not perform to the best of his ability. We always try to push the player to go out and practice and see what he can give us and if they can't give us that effort, that 100% effort we're looking for, then we'll have to rely on the medical staff and them to say, "Hey, he needs another day, or another week," whatever he needs to get prepared. Obviously, yes, we would love him on the field, but you have to take care of the player also.
Q: When they lobby to you to play…does it help?A: Oh yeah, that does help. Sometimes they come out and try. Our guys are really good about wanting to practice and wanting to perform in practice. Sometimes they lobby and they want to and sometimes we allow that to happen, but the medical has the final say, so it's a little bit of give and take and obviously, we'd love to have Kenny (Phillips) play, but right now, it's not in Kenny's best interest.
Q: So you're assuming Kenny will be out Sunday?A: Right now, I'm assuming, but I never say never.
Q: Why can some guys miss practice and still perform at a high level?A: More often than not it's a veteran. Some of our guys really do a good job of taking the mental reps in practice. That's not just a word or a faux pas, they do a good job of taking the mental rep. Normally those guys in the meetings, they're talking about what they're doing and how they're doing it, what coverage is called, and what fits that they're assigned to. That helps them to be able to perform on game day.
Q: The stats show that your defense only had one sack of Drew Brees, but what do you think about their performance?A: It's kind of the strategy that I put them in last week. Our guys are very cooperative. It took a lot for them to do what I asked them to do last week. It wasn't the most sack-friendly game for them, but it was the way that we felt we had to win that football game. A lot of d-linemen wouldn't have done what they did, so my evaluation is that they did a great job because they executed what we wanted them to execute. We accomplished our goal.
Q: Osi Umenyiora said that the d-line is like a home run hitter not seeing good pitches right now (opportunities for sacks). They're job wasn't necessarily to get sacks, but more to execute the specific game plan?A: They executed the game plan for what we felt like we needed to do in order to slow down that football team.
Q: As a defensive coordinator, you still want sacks?A: Oh yeah, we're not exonerating them from getting sacks. Obviously we want more pressure on the quarterback. I always want sacks. Sometimes I don't always put them in the best position and last week I didn't put them in the best position to always accumulate multiple sacks. Should we have had sacks? Yes, we should've had sacks, but I did not put them in the best position to accumulate multiple sacks last week.
Q: Keep the quarterback's feet "hot?"A: Yes, hot and move the launch pad.
Q: Was having Jacquian Williams back a huge factor?A: It was huge.
Q: Will it be important this week?A: No doubt. If I'm not mistaken, (Jimmy) Graham did not have a catch against Jacquian Williams. I think he had two catches in the football game. I thought he caught one ball on Will Hill and I can't remember the other catch that he had. That was big for him. We put Jacquian on him so that was huge. Having him back, I think I was asked last week, "what do you see when he comes back," you see speed, you see quickness. You see an element you almost forgot about because he hasn't been with you and you say, "oh man, yeah, I can use this." We'll definitely use him to our advantage.
Q: And reach?A: And reach. He knocked down a ball on the sideline that was an unbelievable play.
Q: Are there similarities between Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez that you can use this week?A: I don't think there are similarities because Tony, in my opinion, is a Hall of Famer. He's been doing it a long time. He knows all the tricks of the trade. You can see, he has those veteran moves down that you can't practice. He'll be a challenge in himself to contain.
Q: Is Hosley physical enough to play with Roddy White and Julio Jones?A: I think he's fearless enough and I think he's physical enough because again, I think the young man accepts the challenge. I don't think he backs down from anybody. I don't believe that he thinks of himself as a smaller man, I think he thinks of himself as a football player that can go out and get the job done. I think he can be physical with the guy for sure.